|Escape Room (2019)|
Directed by Adam Robitel.
Cast: Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, Jay Ellis, Deborah Ann Woll, Tyler Labine, Nik Dodani, Yorick Van Wangeningen, Adam Robitel, Jessica Sutton.
2019 100 minutes
Rated: (for terror, violence, suggestive material and language).
Reviewed by Dustin Putman for TheFrightFile.com, January 3, 2019.
The premise is a humdinger, straightforward and compelling: six strangers (Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, Jay Ellis, Deborah Ann Woll, Tyler Labine, Nik Dodani) are lured to participate in the world's most immersive escape room for the chance to win $10,000 and, instead, find themselves fighting for survival. "Escape Room," tautly directed by Adam Robitel (2018's "Insidious: The Final Key
"), is a crafty, tension-filled way to kick off the 2019 new year.
Favoring old-fashioned suspense over violence, the film very nearly never lets up as our protagonists are faced with a series of unthinkably harrowing puzzlesone of them featuring the most indelible cinematic use of Petula Clark's '60s pop hit "Downtown" since 1999's "Girl, Interrupted
." The final ten minutes are ultimately the only section that could have probably used another pass from screenwriters Bragi Schut (2011's "Season of the Witch
") and Maria Melnik, but by then the picture will have already won over most viewers. "Escape Room" is going to either send the popularity of actual escape rooms into the stratosphere, or be the cause of their hasty demise because everyone will be too scared to try them; it's that